Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for the Pain

    Often I’ve been told by others that I’m the strongest person they know. I’m told I’m a deep thinker, talented, creative, smart, and even beautiful. I wouldn’t have used any of those words to describe myself.

    Without going into a huge amount of detail I would summarize the majority of my life as one emotionally excruciating day rolling into the next. I’d learned to hide it from most, to cover it with a mask suitable to the people I was with at the moment and the place.

    For the most part I’d convinced myself that what I lived through wasn’t so bad. I knew of others who struggled and endured with various events in their lives and always considered their situation something more notable—good or bad—than mine.

    Nothing about my life did I consider making any big deal over, even if pointed out by another I brushed it off. I believe life hands each of us portions to prepare us for what lies in the future. They could be big portions or small, good or not so good or downright nasty, based on what we could handle at that time.

    Just as how one may use weights to strengthen muscles—the amount of weight beginning at a place we are comfortable with then increasing as the body is able to handle more, mixing up the exercises, reps and rotation, moving toward more difficult routines, stretching ourselves—what we experience in life is much the same. The people we come in contact with, the events and situations move and strengthen us, emotionally and mentally preparing for what is in our future. Embracing each experience, giving it our best effort prepares us most, while avoiding the unpleasant—if we even get that choice—we miss the opportunity to gain from those challenges that will equip us for down the road.

    It’s Thanksgiving, and though its customary to be thankful for friends and family, the things we have that make life more enjoyable and good, this year I’m thankful for the pain I’ve faced in my life. I wouldn’t ever have made the choice to go through it, I wouldn’t want to again, and I certainly wouldn’t wish even a portion on anyone else. It’s only recently, over the past few years I’ve come to acknowledge the things that took place for what they were. This has helped me most to be at this place I am currently in my life.

    I recognize and accept the things that are me, all the pieces comprising who I am, without apology. I have learned patience—rather I am still learning as it is a lesson very much ongoing—with myself, that certain things take time, that I will not get it right every time and that the things I don’t succeed at aren’t failures, but lessons learned for the next time. I learned forgiveness, something I thought I knew. But until one can forgive themselves, honestly, it is not likely to know forgiveness, to understand it, and grasp it enough to extend it to others, completely.

    All these things and more applied inward I’ve discovered replenishes in abundance and pours outward. Most of what I reflect on is attached to something painful in my past, but has lead to those things which are good in my present.

    Being thankful for the pain may sound strange to some, yet when I consider where it has brought me I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have a freedom and peace that I don’t know if I could appreciate if not for what I came through. In the pain is also rooted a desire to give, which I’ve tried to draw from in every way I can each day. To some I send notes hoping to encourage, others I’m able to do something for in person. This may mean I have to step out of my comfort zone, but considering what used to define my zone, a little discomfort I can handle; the comfort comes afterward in how I feel about myself.

    Whether you are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday or just another Thursday, I hope you all have a fantastic day! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Just Catching Up

What does one write when life is going well?
I guess you write that life is going well.

There are many posts in draft and idea status that I wish to finish. The truth is that life is so busy at the moment that I haven’t had time to write a full post. Today I determined I would catch up.

Wow, has it really been over a month since I last wrote? So much has happened since in that time. Dave and I… Sir and I attended a conference over Labor Day weekend. It was focused on the relationship aspect of Master-slave living. Neither of us came home the same. After several weeks I am still processing what I learned and experienced; I know Sir feels the same way. We may be for awhile. Taking so much away from the workshops, meeting some really cool people inspired us on so many levels.

Most importantly we walked away knowing we are on exactly the right path for us, going exactly where we are meant to be heading. We gained a certain amount of confidence in who we are and what we each need. We know what needs to get done and are moving toward accomplishing these things more equipped than we were. It was a weekend with many rewards and was well worth the time and financial investments.

Over the past several weeks received several bits of news worth celebrating. First our son will be getting married in the spring. Our future daughter(-in-law) is a beautiful young woman who is so good for our son. They are just too cute together and we are thrilled to have her become part of our family.

Our oldest daughter will also be getting married to the wonderful man in her life. They haven’t set a date yet, but it will be sometime between now and the spring when Sir and I will become grandparents. WooHoo! Our first grandbaby and we couldn’t be happier.

I have to admit my oldest daughter has tested my beliefs probably more than anyone else. She taught me to realize that a commitment between two people needs no legal documentation to be what it is. At first I was not the happiest parent when my daughter left the area to live with the man she loves. Letting go of judgment and seeing life and people on a different plane I was able see in my daughter her strength to be who she is, true to herself. In a way I suppose she’s taught me. I needed to accept all of her, and I respect her. Their decisions are their own, in their own time; they are making their life what is best for them and I am proud of her for it.

Okay, wiping away tears. Life is changing too quickly. We’ve been working on getting the house in order to be able to list it next spring in preparation for moving out of state; de-cluttering, organizing and cleaning on the way to a couple of minor repairs, painting, and such. It’s a good amount of work, but it will be worth it.

 Writing pace has picked up. I have a few projects I’m working on with the goal of have them to the point of submitting by the first of the year. I’m working the non-fiction project, telling the story of our journey over the past couple of years. Some personal things at the conference we attended confirmed more so for us we need to finish. It will just be a matter of finding where we could submit. The fiction project I’m working on is going well and in my path has been placed a person who has already done much to help me. Amazing it is when so many different parts of life seem to draw together leading you just where you need to go. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt peace in life and in my direction as I do. It is mind boggling at times when I think about it.

Guess this covers what has kept me away. There are some days I don’t go online at all. Sometimes days in a row. I have a facebook page but I don’t go there either, maybe once a month or so. When I do I sometimes see I missed a message from weeks earlier. Perhaps it’s time to take it down altogether. Then again when the grandbaby comes I may want it there. Probably not. Time has gained more value for me. Too many things to do and not enough time to get done. I knew this while raising the children and figured once they were grown I’d have more of it; this has not been the case. Can’t say I wasn’t warned.

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Patterns

Dave came through the door from work. It was late. By the time he made it through the house to the bedroom door I was on my knees, face in the carpet, the long paddle setting just in front of me. I felt him pause only briefly.

Explain, girl.

He knew what it was about just as well as I did. I could have a good excuse for it.

It’d started over the weekend. A few wrenches in the works brought on heavy emotion for me. The beginning of the week with Dave being away at his job made things more stressful. He’d come home at the end of the day and I didn’t greet him as usual; he found me curled underneath the aftercare blanket on the floor at the foot of his chair wearing his shirt. I’d tried to find comfort best I could.

As Dave held and comforted me, he asked about what was going on. The thing was I didn’t understand it myself. I couldn’t really identify it as the dark clouds I’d known before, more a feeling of alone, isolation. He told me he was taking me with him to work the next day. I’d be with him.

The day was good. We talked about many things, our relationship, where we are and where we’re going was the main topic. I also read to him from a book that fed some of our discussion. The way his schedule was set up for the day, he’d dropped me at home during a break and would only have a short time away to finish the run.

Earlier he’d asked me to remind him to do something that pertained to finances which had to be done that day. By the time I remembered, it was too late. We both felt miserable for not remembering, and each felt responsible for what would be the consequences. What made it worse was the walls within me went up. It was one of the landmines which crop up from time to time when we expect past habits to be repeated, and I was agitated at the thought that I’d have to ‘fix’ things. I wasn’t exactly kind with my words.

After Dave left to finish his workday, the look of hurt and anger on his face before walking out the door was in the front of my thoughts the entire time he was gone. It ate at me. By the time he came home I knew what I needed to do; and when he directed me to explain I knew what I needed to tell him.

I was distant and disrespectful, Sir. And I’m sorry.

Yes you were.” He paused. Then picked up the paddle. “Ten should be good.” And so it was. They hurt.

Afterward he held me while I cried. It is usually more difficult for me to let go of my guilt than it is for him to forgive my guilt, so he coaxed me to release it telling me it was over, done.

The next morning as we lay in bed after waking we talked a little. I asked Dave what his thoughts were when he walked in and saw me kneeling the night before.

It cemented more for me how serious you are about this.

You still doubt it?” His fears reflecting mine.

So many times you start things with great intentions, then they fizzle out. You could have swept things under the rug last night. You didn’t.

We talked a little more and I realized Dave and I have similar landmines, both of us struggling with follow through. All our years together we each responded in ways to various situations that set patterns, some things that led each other to feelings of insecurity. Those patterns are neither changed easily, nor are the memories of those patterns dissipated easily.

It was part of the discussion we’d had while on the road the day before; I’d told Dave of my fears that he would reach a point where he didn’t want to continue and I wasn’t sure I could ever go back. Seems we both have that same fear. I’d told him that I felt at times that we were at a standstill, not moving forward at all, that he was holding back; I understand part of that now.

Today is our wedding anniversary. Twenty-seven years. To be completely honest, I hadn’t thought we’d get here when we first recited our vows. Yet here we are feeling like newlyweds learning our spouse from the beginning. The awe and adventure of getting to know the person you wake up with. There’s more to each of us that have been buried for so long it sometimes comes as a surprise to ourselves.

Dave took a long weekend off. We have some plans for it. We plan to sign a contract this weekend, a Master-slave contract. For some it may seem unnecessary; we are married and committed already and I wear his collar. As we’ve discussed it and the details though, I’ve viewed it as something of a vow renewal, a deeper level of commitment. After realizing the apprehension we share I believe this may be needed to help each of us by pass some of the landmines knowing how deeply committed we are together.

We’ll also be taking off for a couple of days on the bike; a trip to reconnect alone, and also plan out the future. Dave is moving us to another state, further south within the next two years; new location, new job and career, new beginning; new patterns ahead in life. He’s planning for it now and our trip will scope out the areas he has interest in. It will be a good weekend.

I know landmines will still come up every so often; being together for so long they just don’t go away overnight. But we are learning to navigate them without setting them off, or at least if they do, they are more dud than explosive these days.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and …. (Part 2)

Seeing the name of an old flame on Dave’s phone screen caused some unexpected things. For a moment it was like a B-grade horror film with bad camera angles. The room tilted and my stomach pitched, the contents trying to crawl up my esophagus. I couldn’t pull air into my lungs and my head spun.

I’d met the girl; we even hung out a few times. My reaction came about for a couple reasons. One, I knew just how Dave felt for her just before meeting me, and two, some of her last words to Dave just before we married were, “I can take you away from her if I wanted.” But why now?  Facebook has been around for years; why only now, particularly on that day did she choose to friend request him.

I don’t believe things happen coincidently; there is always something we learn, some way we are shaped by what we experience; growing or regressing in who we are. I know without a doubt that had this happened a few years ago my reaction would have been far worse. The place I was in then, this incident would have flattened me.

Today, with what we have gone through the past couple of years, what we’ve built together, we talked about it. Our communication level is at a point that I could share honestly with Dave and he with me. The open back and forth was, and is, without fear, but with trust in one another to respect what was said and felt. My initial reaction was momentary; it didn’t linger, but was a leftover from a different time of who I was, not who I am. .

Part of my initial reaction was also due to what had taken place the night before, the emotions still raw. Also, the night previous may have been due to sub drop from the intensity and openness of a few nights earlier. I also believe that the connection, the depth of it, what Dave branded inside of me just days before kept fears and insecurities restrained concerning the friend request.

I know our commitment to one another; we are one. I have no need to worry. I am secure in Dave, in who I am, who we are and what I am in his life. It does not mean twinges of uncertainty and doubt won’t ever surface, but I am more capable of handling them in healthy ways.

I’d originally started writing part one of this post with another direction in mind; it’s interesting how words take on a life of their own. I’d started this post to explain my lack of posting at some times, yet my hesitancy to take a clean break. I feel a measure of guilt when I don’t keep up on posting, reading and commenting on others’ blogs; and yet taking time to reflect on the past couple of years has made me realize I need to take some next steps.

I’ve mentioned before that Dave has three main areas on which he requires me to focus; the house, health/fitness, and writing. I confess I haven’t been as diligent as I should have been in all these areas until recently.

First, I’d gotten stuck on another plateau, my weight stalling, then old habits seeping back in and progress slipping a little. I’m on track again, pushing myself to workout, resisting the temptation to give in to old comfort food. I’m starting to regain the ground I’d lost and it feels good.

Next, throughout the house clutter has been reduced substantially; the house feels open, organized and clean; it looks better than it has for several years. We had one yard sale last month, and another is planned in a little over a month from now. After that the stuff leftover goes to the thrift shop or in a dumpster. The lack of clutter in the house has helped reduce some of the clutter in my head, leading to open, organized, and cleansing thoughts.

When I’d first found this area of the net I read many blogs. DD/TTWD appealed to me by what I read from those who lived it. Some blogs I got a little from, others I learned much. A couple of bloggers in particular I felt a connection with. They wrote about what life before DD was like, the condition of their home and other parts of their lives, and it sounded very much like where I was trying to pull out. Reading about the improvements in their life and relationship made me want it, crave it. Reading about the changes in their home and family and less time lost, I wanted that.

Our path is moving a little differently than some. We still have discipline and spankings, and adding the element or dynamic of Master-slave clicked for us all the more. I was asked the other day in an email how the transition has been for me in blogland moving from writing about DD transitioning to writing about M/s. The person who asked had a similar transition in their life and felt the need to begin a new blog because it felt difficult to express the M/s side of their relationship on what had been started as a DD blog. I admit I struggled with this also.

I’d thought about closing this site and starting another. I knew that continuing here I would lose some readers who may no longer feel connected with what I wrote, while I might gain other readers. Then I remembered that my blog is a journaling of our progression of growth, all of it. We all have various needs and on our own journeys any of us can take it to the point where things work best for us. Our journey moved us through DD, D/s and M/s; it’s all part of TTWD. It’s all what we find makes us the best we are.

Somewhere in the midst of everything that went on over those several days, Dave and I were relaxing next to each other.

Thank you, Sir. I said. I knew he wouldn’t know why I’d said it, so after a moment I told him, for growing with me…meeting my needs.

You’re welcome girl. He pulled me closer.

I know it couldn’t have been easy for you.

Change is never easy.

But I know how much you stepped out of your comfort zone.

If a man doesn’t grow, he’s stagnant…rot sets in. I used to think staying the same was a good thing. People would tell me ‘stay the same, Dave, don’t change.’ In some ways I suppose it’s good to stay the same, but not in all ways. A man needs to grow, he needs to move forward. Even when he’s uncomfortable doing it. It stretches him.

This is where I wanted to take this post; that it’s time for me to stretch some more. One thing I have seen in the past couple of months is that the most progress has taken place on days when I’m not on the computer. I’ve gone back to using pen and paper more than typing for my writing. Goals have been set over the next few months for all three areas of focus for me; I want to meet them. That means less time on the computer.

I still want to write here and express myself on my tumblr site for reasons mentioned earlier in this post. In the beginning I was very inspired by the words of others that I want to pay it forward if I can. And the transitions Dave and I have moved through are not unique to us, I’ve heard from others who desire or are trying to find the same things in their own relationship and perhaps journaling openly like I do will help someone else find their footing along their own journey.

Also I need to write here because the manuscript I’m working right now—one of the goals I need to meet—hits very close in some ways and is emotional to write. Therefore the outlet for other thoughts is necessary for me; that and we do have some things coming up in the immediate future as part of our story and growth that I do want to share. I plan to stop in, and when I do I will try to read what others are writing to keep up.

I hope to pick up the frequency again once I get past these next steps I need to take. I have several goals I’m reaching for, but one in particular, my main goal, is pleasing Dave. Growing in who I am and reaching my potential pleases him. In this I am happy; where I find peace.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and …. (Part 1)

The evening was great; reaching a point I’d hoped for awhile. The scene played out unlike any other between Dave and I. It was the first time he didn’t hold back.

He brought me to tears; not that he hadn’t done so before, but this was different. It wasn’t easy at first, but each strike of an implement across my body brought it closer to the surface, the push over the edge being his words.

At one point he stopped swinging. Perhaps a few tears had moistened the fabric binding my eyes. I sensed his body in front of me, like a wall; keeping me safe from the outside, protecting me. His hand glided over me, caressing up and down in a soothing motion. I felt his breath at my ear.

“You are beautiful. Your body is beautiful.”

His words struck harder, deeper than the implements he was using. Breathing became difficult with the sob lodged in my throat.

“You are incredibly intelligent. So strong. Mine.”

Everything let go. I’d been raw, laid bare, wide open. His words, his touch searing me to the very depths of me, branding me with the picture of how he saw me, how he intends for me to see myself. I cried. Hard.

Dave continued to stroke my skin, letting time for all to pour out of me, replacing with what he wanted to take root, grow and blossom.

He finished off with the soft tails of the flogger, covering my skin like a security blanket, piecing me back together. He held me in his lap for a time while I came down; then took me, loving me, cementing in me the picture of beauty he holds for me in his eyes, all he sees in me.

A few nights later was a mess. Dave secured me bent over, pulled out an implement I consider a favorite; but he had plans to use it a little differently. I’m not sure if I was still raw from a few nights earlier—I’ve heard sub drop can happen that long after—or if there was another reason, but I didn’t handle things well; I safeworded.

Since stepping deeper into a Master/slave relationship I’d decided in my own mind that I would not safeword. I trust Dave to read me, to know when and what I need; it’s not as if we’ve just started. Saying a safeword though brought intense feelings of shame and failure and I broke.

Thoughts of failing to take what he gave fueled the seemingly endless pouring of tears, sobbing. I couldn’t speak except to say I’m sorry over and over again; trying to say anything more only brought greater pain tearing through me. I feared the progress we’d made over the weekend would be lost, that Dave would hold back again; I couldn’t have that happen.

It was a long time before I could find any semblance of calm in me. Dave continued to sooth me, hold me. He encouraged me to curl at his feet, a place he knows I find comfort and peace. But as soon as I did guilt rushed me again. I didn’t feel I deserved to be there, at his feet, so I backed away, the sobbing taking me all the more.

The next morning Dave pulled me to him to discuss what happened. I found the words to explain my thoughts, fears and feelings, although they were not without some tears and shadows of the pain I’d felt the night before. I still felt confused, still do. My desire to please him, serve and obey him is so strong at times I don’t understand it.

His touch, his words were a balm over the rawness. He made it clear I did not displease him. He continued, telling me he was happy I’d communicated with him, that we’re still learning and he needs to know where I’m at; that I had not failed by saying a safeword.

By the time he left for work we’d been laughing, talking about other things. The night was behind us, we each understood how the other viewed it. I was still feeling emotional most of the day, confused, not understanding all that went on in my head. I took it easy for the most part.

Dave came home for a break during work before making a late drop. I was thrilled to see him, wanting to touch him, just know he was near. I’d prepared dinner for the grill and we talked a little.

“I got the most interesting friend request today on facebook.” He told me, his tone a little mysterious.


“I'm kind of surprised I haven’t gotten one sooner.” He was being very mysterious.

I gave it a little thought; maybe someone from out of the past. On a few occasions we’d tried to find some of the people we spent time with during our dating days with little success. It could have been one of them, or maybe someone from his military days, or more recent.

“You haven’t a clue, do you?”

I shook my head.

He’d been working his phone while we were talking; I assumed trying to pull up the page. When he turned it around to show me, there on the screen was the name of the only other girl on this planet who’d ever held a part of that man’s heart. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fading Out the Negative

 (It’s been quite a month and at first I hesitated to tell this, to share it here, then I realize that perhaps writing about it would allow me to put it behind; to get to writing about the incredible progress that has taken place in our lives in spite of the negative things going on. Everyone has times in their lives when something comes along that throws us for a loop, frightens us, with the very real possibility of being hurt deeply, emotionally, with the loss of people we love and will cause us to reevaluate, questioning decisions. This is not unique to anyone, and so I write.)

The sorrow of marking the anniversary of losing my dad coincided with a family event taking place about a month ago in another state; traveling, overnight stay, etc. I admit I wasn’t thrilled with going; apprehension doesn’t describe how I felt. Panic comes close. There were moments I couldn’t breathe at the thought. Anyone who has read through previous posts will understand some of the reasons for this.

Before we were to travel, both cars had problems which made travel in either just about impossible. Dave decided it best we didn’t go and to put the money and time into getting the vehicles in shape instead.

Perhaps one of us should have called ahead. But I knew the scenario of the conversation, how it would play out and the push to be there no matter what; and perhaps it was a bit of cowardice on my part to not just be strong, but instead we sent regrets with our children who did go to the event.

Drama ensued. Comments were made. About how they think we live. In front of our children. More comments. By family members about what kind of lifestyle their ignorant imaginations believe we are heading for. To our children. And anyone else in the room.

It hurt. More than that, my children were subject to it all, came home and told us about it. When words were spoken in our defense, they were shut down on the assumption our children were clueless. I was scared. Scared that my children’s view of us would be altered. That our relationship could be changed in any way. I was frightened. Very much. That if any one of those family members were to stumble across these pages and put them together with their own active imaginings that things would come about which could bring big problems to Dave and I, and our life. (Outside of my children and step-mom no one in my family knows of my blogs or my lifestyle; I do not open to family about anything private. Unfortunately I have learned too well the ramifications.)

Within a week or two after the family incident I talked at length with my youngest daughter. She was the one who had the most difficulty when changes in Dave and I became noticeable. It was a fantastic talk. I believe she may be our biggest supporter. She lives within the walls of our home, sees us in the day to day, and knows how things are. She believes in her dad and I, in what she has seen take place over the past couple of years. 

This same daughter met with a friend; a young girl about her same age who I also know very well. We’ve had a lot of deep conversations. She knows my husband and is also familiar with our lifestyle as these are the types of discussions she has with me because she is free to be open with me to talk.

Our daughter told this friend about the incident with family and the comments and insinuations. The girl turned to her and replied, “That would never happen. Your parents are like one person.” I almost cried when I heard about this conversation; it came at a point I needed it. The more people I get to know who share this lifestyle the more I learn the difference in personalities between those with closed minds and those who have open minds. I’ve also noticed the correlation in judgment.

One evening I spoke with a close friend, shared with her some of my thoughts and fears, a little bit about what went on, the comments. She knows about us; has known us for almost twenty years. Has watched the changes, seen our joy. She’s read some of these pages so she knows what I write here. She assured me this blog and what I write is only proof of the love between Dave and I and that how we live is good for us. That there is nothing here that anyone could use against us, or to make anything out of what we do to be negative.

Then I came back to the internet. It was only then I learned about an article published, links, and negative comments sent to bloggers. Some going private (I miss some blogs I used to read). I read some posts. One by Ward and June got to me, about not hiding; about the life we’re living being genuine, real, the closeness. Then a brilliant comment left on my blog by Irishey about grabbing the good thoughts and feelings and banking them to have on hand for the times when struggling. I believe in this. I’m doing that. When the negative comments begin to creep to the forefront of my thoughts I go to that one comment made by the young lady, my daughter’s friend, who sees the world through open eyes, and it pushes away the bad; makes me smile to think that some who know us see us as one.

This is where I am, pushing through the words to write on this page, pushing through fear. Honestly, the next few posts will most likely be pushing through the emotions. In spite of the negative pieces in the past several weeks, so many wonderful things have happened between Dave and I, within us as individuals. I’m not ready to hide away; I don’t ever want to be.

Dave has told me a couple of times over the past month that they (family) only have as much power as I let them have; that they can only hurt me as much as I allow them. He’s right. So I can’t let it. I’m still learning the intricacies of the power exchange dynamic, but I do understand that if I want Dave to have complete control, then there is none for anyone else to have over my life.

I am trying to be patient with myself, understanding this is a time of growth; difficult times such as these always brings growth. I’m concentrating on the positive, and letting the negative fade into the back. Life is too short to do anything else.

(Edit: I had this post written before receiving the news over the weekend about Bas. Reading the last post he wrote drove home for me even more the need to publish this writing. Bas wrote, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” I want to follow his example and conquer. I know there are going to be stumbles, but in knowing that he believed the changes in his life gave him more time with Lisa, good times that Lisa will cherish in memory of how much closer they grew together, I will not let little things hinder what makes life good for Dave and I. I say it again—life is too short to do anything else.)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thank You Bas

I don’t usually get on the internet over the weekends; this is time spent with Dave.

But for some reason I fired up the computer today and now wish I hadn’t; it would have meant one more day before the onset of these tears of sadness.

I’m sad because someone dear to this community has passed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the love of his life Lisa, and to his family and those who will feel his loss in their lives.

I’m thankful that Bas stepped into this area of the internet purely by accident, and that he started writing. His words will be around for many more to know who he was and of the love he shared with Lisa; the life they lived together.

I’m thankful that he took the time to write, and to share with us so much of himself. He gave so much in that way; through his words, his guidance, and advice. He had much wisdom to share and he was not selfish with it.

Thank you Bas, for all you shared and all you gave. There will be more who will read and learn from you beyond today because of the great gift you left. Thank you, for what I learned from you.

Bas, you will be missed.